LOCK ‘N’ LOAD
Released July 1, 2012 (Lovebite)
01. No Turning Back
02. Sin City
03. Breakin’ The Rules
05. Hey Baby
06. Gonna Love You Anyway
07. Lock ‘N’ Load
08. Queen Of Hearts
09. Can’t Fight Your Love
11. Mr. Lonely
12. Too Much Is Never Enough
Jonny Sparks – vocals and rhythm guitar
Tryx – lead guitar and backing vocals
KC Valentine – bass and backing vocals
Mikey Toye – drums
We now live in the internet age where anyone can call themselves a band, slap together an album and release it independently. While I have seen quite a lot of these in recent years, few of them seem to get it right. I believe rock bands should fall under the business of show business and there are a few bands that have a good image, but lack the quality in song writing. I stumbled across Birmingham, U.K.’s Lovebite because their outlandish appearance captured my attention, but after hearing their songs I knew I had also found something special. This band seems to make no excuses for what they aimed to create — a loud, talented, dark, yet oh so much fun, hard rock album.
If we start with the cover of this album we see a display of someone pressing the muzzle of what looks like a shotgun against the cheek of an attractive model with the album title Lock ‘N’ Load. It’s a nice touch, as that imagery is enough to make anyone look twice.
The album begins with a 33 second intro titled “No Turning Back” featuring thunderclaps and police sirens as it morphs into the fist pumping “Sin City” — setting the tone for the rest of the CD. Lead vocalist Jonny Sparks sounds like a lucky Star Trek transporter malfunction that fused Bon Scott and Vince Neil together. His shrill and effortless high pitched range easily carries the songs while the rest of the band backs him up with frequent gang vocals.
The songs are infectious and extremely catchy as the band seems to focus their song writing around melodies and guitar hooks backed by a solid rhythm section — something that’s often sorely missed in today’s new rock. Their lead guitarist (only known as Tryx) also commands attention as he makes his instrument screech, howl, and deliver those grabbing guitar riffs on each track. Songs like “Gonna Love You Anyway”, “Queen Of Hearts” and “Love/Hate” completely showcase Tryx‘ lead ability — the kid has learned his craft quite well.
”Striptease” turns up the sleaze full tilt as the band borrows a card from early Motley Crue — this song could have been a follow-up to “Too Fast For Love”. The band confidently ventures into versatility as well with the acoustic-based “Hey Baby” which could be an arena sing-along anthem.
I cannot say enough positive things about Lock ‘N’ Load as it delivers on all fronts. If the music industry wakes up and gives a band like Lovebite a shot, rock fans will eat this up. If you love dirty, gritty, catchy hard rock delivered by talented musicians and songwriters then you’re ready for Lovebite.
lovebiteofficial.com – www.facebook.com/lovebiterules
Reviewed by Mark Horvath for Sleaze Roxx, August 2012